Money coming to rehab blighted Kansas City neighborhoods - KCTV5

Money coming to rehab blighted Kansas City neighborhoods

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Grants are used primarily to renovate blighted neighborhoods and homes in area that are often overlooked. One of those programs has proven so successful, funding has increased. Grants are used primarily to renovate blighted neighborhoods and homes in area that are often overlooked. One of those programs has proven so successful, funding has increased.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Money could be coming to Kansas City neighborhoods to give them a facelift.

Those grants are used primarily to renovate blighted neighborhoods and homes in areas that are often overlooked. One of those programs has proven so successful, funding has increased.

When Darryl and Stephanie Answer moved to the Ivanhoe neighborhood last November, they needed help renovating their home, and they got it.

"They put this on for us. This storm door and this front door. And as I said before, no front door there ... was a just a board that was bolted in," Darryl Answer said.

The Answers filled out an application and qualified through a program called the Home Repair Initiative. It is part of the Ivanhoe 39th Street Project which is funded by federal money.

"I know it made it possible for us to have assistance, and there are probably lots of other people where that would be beneficial as well," Stephanie Answer said.

Susie McGee is one of them.

She has live in her home for 34 years, and just last year, she had her windows, kitchen cabinets and kitchen replaced through the same program.

"It was just a blessing to have someone to do this for us, and I'm really grateful myself. I couldn't have done it," she said.

The little-known program is financed through Community Development Block Grants.

The federal government disperses them through charitable organizations which help rebuild communities in low-income areas.

In the Ivanhoe neighborhood, the median household income is $20,000 a year.

"When your income is that limited ... when your roof needs to be repaired, when your furnace goes out, you don't have the money to do that," said Margaret May, executive director of the Ivanhoe neighborhood council.

The program has been around since 2008 when it was initially funded with just $75,000. This year, the government increased funding to $250,000, money that will go to good use helping families like the Answers.

"It gives people more hope in the community. Seeing that change is happening and makes people really proud of where they live," Darryl Answer said.

Other Kansas City neighborhoods and programs are getting federal money as well. It is not just limited to the Ivanhoe area.

Those interested should check with their city councilman or local community organizations.

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